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Articles / Applying to College / Girl Power at Engineering Schools

Girl Power at Engineering Schools

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Aug. 12, 2004

Question: Given good grades and test scores and active participation in several extracurriculars, is being a girl any advantage when applying to top engineering schools?

Being a girl should indeed give you an advantage at top engineering schools. For instance, for the fall of 2003, MIT had 10,549 applicants. Of these, only 2,898 were female. MIT accepted 29.3% of its female candidates but only 11.6 % of the males.


That same year, Cal Tech admitted 27.6% of its female applicants, compared to 14% of the males. Male applicants outnumbered the women about 4 to 1.

Then there's Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Smith has the only engineering program in the nation that's exclusively for women. At Smith, being a girl really helps. :-)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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